Saturday, August 27, 2016

Greenpeace Wants ‘President Biya’s Family’ Plantation Suspended!

Yaoundé—Environment watchdog and lobby group, Greenpeace has called on the Cameroon government to suspend lease agreements with one of the country’s biggest rubber company; Sud-Cameroon Hévéa (Sudcam) until clear preconditions and modalities of the sublet are established.
Research reveals President Biya's family owns Sudcam rubber plantation

In an article made public last Wednesday 24 August, the group said the rubber producing giant has been a threat to future communities and the Dja Faunal Reserve, created in 1950 and registered a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

 The reserve constitutes habitat for fourteen species of primate including Western Lowland Gorillas and Chimpanzees. Nomadic Baka forest peoples have inhabited the area for hundreds of years, possibly longer.

Greenpeace in the report said a recent analysis of satellite images shows that Sudcam has clear-cut almost 6,000 hectares of forest since 2011 with 42% of the deforestation carried out over the past one and a half year.

 “That’s over 5,000 ha more than the clearing at the SGSOC palm oil plantation in Cameroon’s South West Region, a project which has been the object of massive NGO and media scrutiny since 2010,” part of the report read.

Sudcam officials were not reachable for comments at the time of this report.

President of the Republic's family

Citing a report by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Greenpeace suggests that official tolerance for SudCam’s apparent violation of Cameroonian land law may be due to the fact that one of its shareholders is, an influential member of the Cameroonian political elite.

The CIFOR research which Greenpeace has seen says: “[the] allocation of a temporary concession to Sud-Cameroun Hevea SA without taking into account the criteria specified in land regulations seems to have been motivated by the personality behind the Cameroonian who holds 20% of the company’s share.”

It adds that, “according to a local representative of the Ministry of the Environment, the President of the Republic's family owns the company. However we have learned only that an influential member of the Cameroonian political elite, whose identity we do not know, apparently owns 20% of the company’s shares.”

Sudcam whose plantation is located only a dozen kilometers east of President Paul Biya’s native Mvomeka’a village was established in 2010 as a joint venture company between the Singapore-based GMG Global Ltd (GMG), a subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned company Sinochem (80% of the shares) and the Société de Productions de Palmeraies et d'Hévéa (SPPH) (20% of the shares), the Greenpeace report explained.

The environmental advocacy group said it has written to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee to express unease about the lack of attention paid to the threat created by the Sudcam plantation.

“The opacity and questionable legality of the Sudcam project – by far the Congo Basin’s most devastating new clearing of forest for agriculture – has been encouraged by donors’, media’s and NGOs’ near total indifference to it,” the lobby group suggested in the report.

The group expressed lamentation that the UNESCO World Heritage Committee was asked to vote on a draft decision to inscribe the Dja reserve on the List of World Heritage in Danger on 14 July 2016, “unfortunately, only Finland voted in favor while all other delegations opposed the measure,” Greenpeace said.

By Ndi Eugene Ndi

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Nigerian arrested for naming dog after President Buhari

President Buhari
A Nigerian man who named his dog after President Muhammadu Buhari and painted the name on both sides of the dog was arrested for breach of the peace.

Joe Fortemose Chinakwe walked Buhari in an area where support for the president was high, police said.

Officers said they were worried the moved could antagonise people, though he insisted it was meant as a compliment.

He has been granted bail but remains in jail as funds are sought, reports said.

Mr Chinakwe, 30, said that he named the dog Buhari because he had admired Mr Buhari for many years.

"I named my beloved pet dog Buhari, who is my hero," Mr Chinakwe said. "My admiration for Buhari started far back when he was a military head of state."

Death threats

He was inspired to give his dog the name after reading about Mr Buhari's fight against corruption, he added.

He later told local media he had received death threats over the perceived slight.

Twitters users reacted to the arrest with a mixture of amusement and concern.

"If we keep quiet when they arrest the man who named his dog Buhari who will talk for us when they arrest us for criticizing the real Buhari?" said Reno Omokri.

Mr Chinakwe's case was adjourned until 19 September.

Source: BBC

Monday, August 15, 2016

WISU Amends Constitution, Ngwan Derrick Extends Mandate

The national president of the Wimbum Students’ Union (WISU) will now have a three-year mandate renewable once instead of two years renewable once as has been the case for decades, sources have confirmed.

Like President Paul Biya did with the constitution of Cameroon in 2008, the WISU constitution was tinkered at the behest of the association’s leader during the 2017 convention that ended in Rong village at the weekend.

Ngwan Derrick Tawe Nyah who was elected for a first two-year mandate in Bongom in 2014 was re-elected for a second mandate expected to last three years.

However, we are yet to have ample information regarding allegations that the president ‘deceived’ Wisuans that he was a second year student of the Catholic University of Bertoua to be eligible for the post.

We are told villagers were transported from Binka and Tabenken to vote in Rong; “they voted and left the convention the same day,” one of the convention attendee told this reporter on phone Sunday.
Ngwan Derrick, WISU President-elect

 We learnt that Ngwan Derrick met a four year calendar of host villages of WISU convention when he assumed office in 2014 but attempted to deprive 2017 host, Nwangri.

Our source that spoke on grounds of anonymity hinted that the president elect wanted to move the 2017convention from Nwangri to Binka; a move that made with stiff resistance from discontented students.

 “I will give out that information officially from my office, I don’t like the way you particularly has been talking about the convention, so wait for official information from my office,” the WISU president-elect told this reporter on phone early Monday.

 We are also investigating allegations that not fewer than 58 non-students Rong youth ‘were given’ WISU membership cards and they took part in the vote.

Since the WISU president-elect could not talk to us, we were also unable to ascertain why he referred to his predecessor as a coward who could not change the constitution.

We hope however that the “official information” he has promised to give from his office will answer our worries.

By Ndi Eugene Ndi

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Cameroon—Kenya U17 Match Relocated To Limbe

Limbe Omnisport stadium
Yaoundé—Cameroon football authorities have relocated a match between the country’s under 17 football team against Kenya on Sunday August 7.

The Kenyan under 17 soccer team arrived Cameroon on Friday.

The encounter which is the first leg of the second round of qualifiers for the 2017 African U17 championship to be staged in Madagascar was initially programmed for the Bafoussam Omnisport stadium in the West region of the country.

In a statement published early Saturday, the Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT) said the aircraft that had to transport the Kenyan team from Douala to Bafoussam had a technical fault.

The visiting team could not therefore travel by bus on the over 250km long road from Douala to the initial playground in Bafoussam as FIFA rules stipulate that a visiting team must not travel more than 200Km by road.

“Consequently, FECAFOOT informed CAF which has approved” that the match takes place at the Limbe Omnisport stadium, the statement signed by the secretary general of the Cameroon soccer federation Blaise Moussa said.

The seaside resort town of Limbe is 75km away from Douala and the visiting team will be transported by bus.

The match against Cameroon comes a week after the COSAFA 2016 regional championship in Mauritius where the Kenyan side was guest team.

The team that is hoping to qualify for the African championship for the first time will be counting on the experience of the regional tourney for Sunday’s encounter with Cameroon.

The host, Cameroon U17 Lions has been in training in the West region after their return from the Central African Football Federations' Union (UNIFFAC) U17 tournament in Congo-Brazaville where they finished third.

The return leg has been scheduled for the weekend of August19 - 21 in Nairobi, Kenya.

By Ndi Eugene Ndi

Cameroon Unveils 2016 Women’s AFCON Mascot, Anthem And Logo

Yaoundé—President Paul Biya last Friday approved the mascot, anthem and logo of the 2016 Women’s African Football Cup of Nations to be staged in Yaounde and Limbe from November 19 to December 3.

The unveiling of the mascot comes barely a week after a CAF inspection team visited the country and declared it ready to host the tournament.

The mascot, a lioness named Lili-the first two syllabuses of the lion and lioness; the male and female national soccer teams of the country is clothed with the three colours of the Cameroon flag; Green, Red and Yellow—holding on its right hand the official match ball of the tournament by CAF.

On its T-shirt is inscribed, “CAF Women’s African Cup of Nations, Cameroon 2016,” same writing on the logo which is the African map with a star on the position of Cameroon.

The anthem; a bilingual song recorded in a French studio in Paris has as lead singers renowned Afropop singers; Charlotte Dipanda and Richard Kings, featuring some national and international stars.

It celebrates brotherhood amongst the continent’s people through the championship as well as women and their achievements. It also expresses the country’s gratitude to CAF and FIFA for granting it the rights to host its first Women AFCON (and the second AFCON, after the Men AFCON in 1972) ever organized by the country.

On Thursday, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced that it has banned Equatorial Guinea from participating in the tournament for fielding a player whose age differed from a previous she declared in 2014.

The two-time African champions fielded Brazilian-born midfielder Camila Nobre do Carmo Oliviera whose date of birth is 10/06/1988 but was registered as Camila Maria Nobre Carmo with date of birth as 07/10/1994 at the 2014 edition of the tournament in Namibia. Mali was brought in to replace the country.

Current holders Nigeria and hosts Cameroon will thus be joined by Mali, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, Zimbabwe and South Africa at the tournament.

By Ndi Eugene Ndi

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

SDF Launches Signature Campaign for Immediate Release of Laurent Gbabo

Bamenda—Cameroon’s leading opposition political party, the Social Democratic Front (SDF) has launched a petition calling for the immediate release of Laurent Gbabo, former president of the Cote d’Ivoire.
Mr Gbabo who was president of Cote d’Ivoire since the year 2000 is on trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where he is being accused of charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity following a “short period of civil conflict” that erupted in the country after he refused to step down following his loss to Alassane Ouattara in the 2010 presidential election.
Supporters of Mr Gbabo however argue that most of the atrocities committed during the post-election civil war were carried out by rebel forces on the side of President Alhassane Ouattara.
Cameroon’s leading opposition leader, Ni John Fru Ndi who launched a petition in the country calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Laurent Gbabo from The Hague custody said the former Ivorian leader should be freed from the “unjust, unfair and unsustainable situation” in which a few known impostors of the legitimacy of the international community have placed him.
 “Everyone knows that Africans in general and Cameroonians in particular are against the violence of justice that is perpetrated by the United Nations system through the International Criminal Tribunal to President Laurent Gbabo,” Mr Fru Ndi said at a National Executive Committee rally of his party in Bamenda, Northwest of Cameroon at the weekend.
Mr Fru Ndi who described the former Ivorian leader and founded of Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) as a friend and brother said his party, the SDF accompanied the FPI in its long march to liberate the Ivorian people, “because we shared same ideals.” Both were member parties of Socialist International.
“That is why I launch this appeal for the release of this true son of Africa, not only as a friend but as someone who believes in justice,” Mr Fru Ndi clarified.
The Cameroon opposition leader said the petition was not meant to change power in Cote d’Ivoire nor its purpose that of establishing the truth about what happened.
“This petition is only about the liberation of President Gbagbo because in the absence of all the responsible actors of Cote d’Ivoire’s crisis, any decision taken by The Hague will be void of any legitimacy,” Mr Fru Ndi stated.
He said the opposition party hoped to obtain the adherence of a vast majority of Cameroonians across the political spectrum.
“I am signing this petition today for the dignity of Africa, for justice for peace. Please, unconditionally liberate President Laurent Gbabo,” Mr Fru Ndi said.
The signature campaign which was earlier launched in the Cote D’Ivoire by ex-culture Minister, Bernard Dadie and ex-Prime Minister Koffigoh and has already gathered more than three million signatures, according to reports.

The first vice chairman of the SDF party Mr Joshua Osih told local media that the party hoped to assemble about ten thousand signatures in contribution to the needed 22million.